Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Jersey's Team

Let's face it, New Jersey needs an NBA team. Yeah, the Nets play out in East Rutherford, but they get no love from Garden State citizens. One of the league's worst arenas combined with one of its most listless fan bases, makes for a general lack of excitement for the team from Hoboken to Atlantic City. Any given day, you can buy a ticket to a Nets game and two quarters later probably end up spitting your lame rap of Jay-z's lyrics to Hova himself. The organization regularly ranks among the NBA's worst in attendance. Even during the 2002-03 season when they were defending Eastern Conference Champs (give Nets fans a break for the year prior, nobody saw that run coming so there was not enough time to jump on the bandwagon) they were 23rd in fans drawn. Needless to say that in the state of NJ the Nets are the old philosophical question, if they played in an arena and nobody was there to see them, should anyone care? Or something like that.
Conversely the state of New Jersey has long been a haven for prep basketball stars. The list is a long one: Hall of Famers Tommy Heinson, Willis Reed and Rick Bary, current NBA players Tim Thomas, JR Smith, Andrew Bynum and Al Harrington. Don't forget the guys who were born in NJ but bred elsewhere: Cherry Hill's Mike Bibby and Newark's Shaquille O'Neal. New Jersey is boon to basketball, just ask Coach K down in Durham, where it seems he brings in a Garden Stater every year.
But the irony of course is that the Nets never caught on and now they're trying to move out. So let 'em. I am officially announcing that the state should let them go to Brooklyn and become a step-dad to another team: the Sacramento Kings.
The Kings are a veritable who's who of NJ basketball. Quincy Douby, the former Rutgers star and still Scarlet Knight icon, was their first round pick a few years back. Sure he hasn't panned out yet but those 34 points against the Lakers last April is hope.
Jason Thompson was the team's first round pick this past June from Rider, where he tore up the MAAC. Then he tore up the NBA too, dropping 18 and 10 in his debut.
But wait, there's more! John Salmons is from nearby Philadelphia, a city so close half of the state thinks it resides there. Mikki Moore played for the Nets and became a fan favorite. Francisco Garcia is from the Bronx, a short ride away from North Jersey. And don't forget Bobby Brown. Ok so its not THE Bobby Brown, who used to live in NJ after becoming a star for New Edition, but it's our team team and it's our prerogative!
So good bye Nets, hello Kings. I hope you like your arenas quiet and empty.

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